verb di·late \ˈdī-ˌlāt, dī-ˈ\

: to become larger or wider


Full Definition of DILATE

transitive verb
archaic :  to describe or set forth at length or in detail
:  to enlarge or expand in bulk or extent :  distend, widen
intransitive verb
:  to comment at length :  discourse —usually used with on or upon
:  to become wide :  swell <the pupil of the eye dilates and contracts>
di·lat·abil·i·ty \(ˌ)dī-ˌlā-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
di·lat·able \dī-ˈlā-tə-bəl, ˈdī-ˌ\ adjective
di·la·tor \dī-ˈlā-tər, ˈdī-ˌ\ noun

Examples of DILATE

  1. The drug causes the blood vessels to dilate.
  2. During labor, a woman's cervix will dilate to about 10 centimeters.
  3. The drug dilates the blood vessels.

Origin of DILATE

Middle English, from Middle French dilater, from Latin dilatare, literally, to spread wide, from dis- + latus wide — more at latitude
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of DILATE

expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (as growth, unfolding, addition of parts) <a business that expands every year>. amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate <amplify the statement with details>. swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits <the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions>. distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within <a distended abdomen>. inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse <an inflated ego>. dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference <dilated pupils>.

Rhymes with DILATE

abate, ablate, adnate, aerate, age-mate, agnate, airdate, airfreight, alate, arête, await, backdate, baldpate, bandmate, baseplate, bedmate, bedplate, berate, birthrate, bistate, bite plate, blank slate, blind date, blue plate, bookplate, breastplate, casemate, castrate, caudate, cell plate, cerate, cheapskate, checkmate, chelate, chordate, citrate, classmate, clavate, cognate, collate, comate, conflate, connate, Cook Strait, cordate, create, cremate, crenate, curate, cut-rate, deadweight, death rate, debate, deflate, delate, dentate, derate, dictate, disrate, donate, doorplate, downstate, drawplate, elate, end plate, equate, estate, faceplate, falcate, fellate, filtrate, first-rate, fishplate, fixate, flatmate, floodgate, fluxgate, flyweight, folate, formate, frustrate, gelate, gestate, ground state, gyrate, hamate, hastate, headgate, Hell Gate, helpmate, home plate, hot plate, housemate, hydrate, ice-skate, inflate, ingrate, inmate, innate, instate, irate, jailbait, Kuwait, lactate, lapse rate, legate, liftgate, ligate, lightweight, liquate, lobate, locate, lunate, lustrate, lych-gate, lyrate, magnate, makebate, makeweight, mandate, messmate, migrate, misstate, mutate, nameplate, narrate, negate, Newgate, nitrate, notate, nutate, oblate, of late, orate, ornate, ovate, palmate, palpate, peltate, phonate, pinnate, placate, playdate, playmate, plicate, portrait, postdate, predate, prime rate, probate, prolate, pronate, prorate, prostate, prostrate, punctate, pupate, quadrate, rain date, ramate, rebate, red-bait, relate, restate, roommate, rostrate, rotate, saccate, schoolmate, seatmate, sedate, sensate, septate, serrate, shipmate, short weight, slave state, soleplate, soul mate, spectate, spicate, squamate, stagnate, stalemate, stellate, striate, sublate, substrate, sulcate, summate, tailgate, teammate, Tebet, tenth-rate, ternate, terneplate, testate, third-rate, tinplate, to date, toeplate, tollgate, tractate, translate, tristate, truncate, unweight, update, uprate, upstate, V-8, vacate, vallate, valvate, vibrate, virgate, vulgate, whitebait, workmate
DILATOR Defined for Kids


verb di·late \dī-ˈlāt\

Definition of DILATE for Kids

:  to make or grow larger or wider <Her pupils dilated in the dark.>
Medical Dictionary


verb di·late \dī-ˈlāt, ˈdī-ˌ\

Medical Definition of DILATE

transitive verb
:  to enlarge, stretch, or cause to expand <dilate his pupils with atropine> <the drug dilates peripheral arteries>
intransitive verb
:  to become expanded or swollen <the cervix was dilating> <the pupils dilated>


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